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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Workout observations 2-24

I finally saw Homer Bailey throw against hitters. He looked good against a good group – Brandon Phillips, Alex Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion and Craig Tatum.

“I feel good,” Bailey said. “I’m prepared. I think the experience of last year will help.”

Edinson Volquez looked outstanding against Adam Dunn, Norris Hopper, Ken Griffey Jr. and Paul Bako.

“I’m going to have to turn up the fan a little bit,” Griffey said. That means pick up the bat speed.

Griffey waved at one changeup. Hopper hit one ball hard toward the end of the session. That was it.

“He’s got good stuff,” Dunn said. “A really good changeup.”

Todd Coffey, by the way, was much better in his Sunday session, but he was facing most minor leaguers – not Griffey, Dunn and Co.

Matt Belisle wins the award for worst ride. He still drives a 1996 Ford pickup with 190,000 miles on it.

“That truck makes me feel good every time I get in it,” he said.

I mentioned to him that it was worst truck I’ve ever seen for a guy in his tax bracket.

“You’re the first one to put it that way,”


at 1:05 PM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

Hopefully Bailey has more confidence in his ability now than last year. Has he said how is groin feels?

Will be interested in how Volquez stuff translates in game situations. Is Soto there at camp this year? And is he helping Volquez with the change up?

at 1:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Mike Belisle related to Matt?

at 1:13 PM Blogger redfuture said...

When I was living in Charlotte, my wife's sister's car would not start in the Home Depot parking lot. Hugh McColl, CEO of BankofAmerica (then NationsBank) whose HQ are in Charlotte, happened to be walking to his truck near her and came to her rescue with jumper cables out of his very old truck. So Belisle isn't the only one to be well grounded, that's the Red connection.

at 1:21 PM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...


p.s. This is done with tongue planted firmly in cheek

at 1:44 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Now THAT was funny, I don't care who you are.

Good one woody!

at 2:13 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Fixed to Matt. Lost my mind for a second.

I'm working with BGates on software the rejects all post with uppercase proclamations. I'm really tired of those posts. The guy's entitled to his opinion, but it's like banging your head against the blog wall at this point.

at 2:16 PM Blogger Fkdrad said...

Soto was right behind Volquez. He was in his ear after several pitches.

John: word is that Dusty had a second team meeting , anything in particular or is he going to be doing this on a regular basis???
fkdrad from osprey

at 2:17 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Nice to see I'm not the only one getting old and cranky. :)

Thing is, Fay's got five more weeks of spring training. He's only getting started. Everyone watch out by week 3 of this madness!

at 2:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am an admitted caps user in some blogs, not all, and never the entire blog. Usually a phrase or alot of times proper names. If the format allowed us to italicise (sp?) or bold, or underline, perhaps those of us w/ above average writing skills would have an alternative.

Just a thought,
_Kevin in Ft Myers

at 2:51 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Kevin, you can bold and ital, even bold-ital, by using simple HTML codes. Do a Google search on . . . er. . . Basic HTML Codes and it'll be a snap.

at 3:06 PM Blogger jjdebruer said...

a little off subject but does anyone know the schedule at Ed Smith the next few days?

are fans able to attend workouts?

at 3:12 PM Blogger Kyle said...

I agree with not wanting the all caps posts. they kind of make it feel like somebody is shouting at you.

at 3:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr Redlegs!
-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 3:31 PM Blogger redfuture said...

I see Dusty has thrown Affeldt a bone. He will start the first ST game on Thursday. Hopefully he'll let him start a few more exhibitions but that is where it should end! The young studs are too good to not be in this rotation. Besides if you need a LH in this rotation, Maloney is probably a better choice. He actually has great command as demonstrated in AAA. Still I want the RH studs in there. Affeldt will be extremely valuable as a situational lefty and Fogg will be very good as the long man.

Speaking of which. Why would Josh & Jeremy sign with the Reds? They have to be aware of the big young arms here. I bet in the back of their minds they realize that if they can't make the rotation, it serves as an indicator of the strength of the staff. Thereby giving them an excellent shot at the postseason.

at 3:39 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Is Lohse still looking for a job? My warped sense of humor finds it very amusing that he is not going to get a big contract.

And Fogg turning down 5 mil and signing for one is even better. Is George Castanza negotiating for these guys?

Of course, I would love to make the chump change these guys are getting. I guess it is all relevant

at 3:46 PM Blogger Jon said...

"Soto was right behind Volquez. He was in his ear after several pitches."

Nice to see the old vets showing up to inject some winning advise. Hopefully this becomes part of the story as to why Volquez was a great pick up

at 3:51 PM Blogger Jon said...

Lohse would have been a scrap heap hero. He was picked up off the Twins by Krivsky for nothing when he was sent to the minors in 06

at 3:53 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Aside from Harang I don't see anybody that is "not too good to be in this rotation.. aside from Harang I see no "studs"

a couple days of spring training and not one game having actually been played .. and holy cow..we all of a sudden have an overpowering starting rotation and a bunch of "studs"..Too funny.

at 3:56 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Josh was signed for a million dollars and the fact that after Harang we have no consistent starter.

Affeldt was signed because aside from Cordero..and weathers to a lesser degree..our bullpen is terrible

at 3:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there John; as spring progresses, there are bound to be some readable posts with intelligent baseball discussion. A question I have, is why are there so many people down on Ross? If it's because of his batting average, that's a boneheaded way of using stats. I'd much rather have a solid defensive cather with a good arm and the skill to handle pitchers, than to have one that bats .260. 40BA points only equates to an extra 20 hits over 500 at bats. He's a huge upgrade over LaRue. He just needs to prove now that he can handle the young guns.


at 3:59 PM Blogger Jon said...

Lohse would have been a scrap heap hero. He was picked up off the Twins by Krivsky for nothing when he was sent to the minors in 06

at 4:01 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The reds work put tomorrow at 9:30. Tuesday they have the intrasquad game at 12:30.

at 4:07 PM Blogger Jon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

at 4:09 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I beg to differ with you Jon. Kyle Lohse was making about 4 mil a year for the past 2 seasons.

Yes, he was a scrap heap pick-up but certainly not a cheap one.

at 4:12 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Ross is a very, very good defensive catcher. That is the first and foremost requirement and there are not many good ones anywhere right now. It's nice to wish for someone though that actually makes contact with the ball when he swings. I've never seen a person swing and miss as often as he does. Yeah, Dunn strikes out a lot but many of them are called strikes and he fouls off a lot of 1 & 2 strike pitches. Ross though swings and misses all kinds of pitches rarely even fouling any off. Watch him intently the next time. You will be amazed. That said, defense is a must and we have to live with it until someone comes along who can match the defense and also hit. Craig Tatum is probably his match defensively but I fear he also has the swing & miss disease. Ryan Hannigan is not prone to a high strikeout rate but I've never read anywhere about his defensive skills. If anyone knows this please share!

at 4:21 PM Blogger Jon said...

differ away, 11 million would have been heroic.

at 4:24 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

"differ away, 11 million would have been heroic."
I guess I just don't understand what you are trying to say. Not important anyway.

at 5:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cordero, Weathers, Burton, with Affedlt and Bray, do make a very good (not outstanding or great) bullpen. Probably in the top 1/3 or 1/4 when compared to other MLB teams. If Belisle was moved to the pen, it would just make it better. So I disagree with Jack to that extent.

at 5:17 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

5:10 anon

Ill believe it when I see it..

at 5:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopper hit a ball hard? Somebody should have had a camera.

at 6:27 PM Blogger redfuture said...

5:10 Anon. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the deductions that you have made about the quality of the staff. You are very insightful and never apologize for it. However, it will be Mercker instead of Bray (injured again and never effective to date). That is to say, it should be Mercker, but I'm afraid that Stanton's $3M salary may get that spot instead. We can live with the Stanton disaster because somebody has to mop up the few blowouts that occur. You also need a good and I mean good, long man in the bullpen and that should be Fogg. Volquez will have to start out in the pen too because Bailey has a better strike percentage and Cueto's strike percentage blows them both away. I'm only sorry that Sergio Valenzuela must be returned to the Braves for lack of roster space since this pen is so good. A number of other guys are ready to step into the pen as well, Roenicke and Pelland, but sadly there is not space. Tell you what, I'm going to watching some AAA games over the internet as well as the Reds.

at 6:34 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

at 6:36 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Good points redfuture and anon 5:10 Adrian.

Looking at what we may very well have instead of dwelling on what you think we may not have is a refreshing change of pace.

We have quite a few youngsters with a seemingly bright future before them/us. It's getting exciting to be a Reds fan again.

at 6:37 PM Anonymous Robert said...

What ever happened to Brandon Claussen?

at 6:51 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

I'm starting to feel that excitement of this new baseball season,Thanks John for keeping us informed.

I'm really optimistic about these young arms.I'm just praying & hoping that this no FA signings or trade for a real LH or even a RH stud doesn't come back & bite the red's right where it hurts.AH cannot carry the load by himself,BA eat's up innings but middle of the road for pitchers,MB is not guranteed a spot in the rotation, & the young guy's are un-proved.

I guess we'll wait & see.

The bengals didn't make any big moves in the past offseason, look where they got them last season.

at 6:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

jack, you have to be the most negative person. Anyone tries to be positive about what the Reds look to be doing and you sing the same blah, blah, blah tune. The
Braves took their lumps before they put many consective years of winning together, as well as other teams. From what I have seen, it looks as if WK is tryng to do the same thing with this Reds team. He did not create the mess, but he's certainly making they types of moves to try and fix it. You can say what you want about the past 7 years, but what I believe most of us want, a future of success for the Reds. I just don't get why you seem to feel that you are smarter than the guys that are making the decisions? I like reading different opinions, but when someone constantly knocks the Reds, it seems to become more of a reflexion on that person.

Mike D.

at 7:07 PM Blogger AFMike said...


I found the owners comment about Sarasota kind of telling. I'm guessing (and hoping), that the Reds have a good chance of staying in Sarasota. Did you get that feeling or am I reading to much into it.

at 7:25 PM Blogger Brandon said...

Belisle should not go back to the pen. If anyone else remebers 2 years ago when he was a bull pen guy and had constant back problems missing large chunks of the seasons. Once he got on a normal routine of pitching every 5 days he wasn't hurt at all last year. I think Cordero, Weathers, Burton, Affeldt, Saurerback (or Bray if healthy), Roenick, and Fogg as your long man. Have Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, Baily, and Volquez start. Also why is everyone so down on Belisle I look for him to have a pretty good year this year anyone who has watched him can tell he has the stuff just needed to put some innings under his belt and learn to think like a pitcher and not just a thrower.

at 7:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krivsky has done nothing but hold this team back, not propel them. This team's future is bright because of the previous GMs drafts (Bruce, Votto, Bailey, Cueto).

Yes, maybe Volquez and Maloney will pan out, but it's hard to pan out when your GM continues to bring in ageless garbage in Fogg, Affeldt, Merker, Stanton, and so on....

at 7:32 PM Blogger Brandon said...

Wait Affeldt garbage out of the pen in a hitter friendly park posting the 3.51 era I don't know about garbage.

Also we forget Kriv brought in Arroyo, Phillips, Ross, Hatteberg, Burton, Cordero, and AGon who should be a lot better with the personal issues off his mind.

at 7:34 PM Blogger AFMike said...

I have mentioned many times that the Reds have to give credit to Dan O'Brien, as he had two really good drafts. Since then Krivsky has been getting high marks from Baseball America for his drafts and the overall improvement of the farm system. It's easy to see why he's bringing in the likes of Fogg, as he's trying to bridge the gap to 2009. But again most of you guys are much smarter than professoinal baseball people. The Reds farm system is now ranked third overall and to some of you that doesn't mean anything. However, it does mean that people that know more than most of us, think the Reds are doing things the right way. I would love to know what some of you smart people would do with this team? Trade away young players for someone like Joe Blanton?

at 7:37 PM Blogger Brandon said...

Hey Mike glad to see there are other people out there that realize we are building this team the right way. O'Brien did a few things right best as of yet the Guillen for Harang deal.

But being 3rd behind Boston and Tampa Bay must say something about things here and the fact that Burton is our 12th best prospect and he post a 2.51 era in 43 big league innings last season. Everyone is in an uproar because we are protecting our future with guys like Fogg so we don't have to rush the kids along and ruin them if they aren't ready.

at 7:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"O'Brien did a few things right best as of yet the Guillen for Harang deal."

O'Brien doesn't get credit for this one...Harang was acquired 3 months before O'Brien was hired.

at 7:57 PM Blogger Brandon said...

My bad was it Bowden. I apologize.

at 8:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't Bowden, either. It happened right after Bowden was fired. Giving O'Brien credit though...Bailey, Bruce, and Cueto were all signed/drafted on his watch.

at 8:19 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Great, great posting guys. One clarification is needed however, the Harang (and Joe Valentine/Jeff Bruksch) deal was done by Brad Kullman. He was the assisstant GM left in charge after Bowden/Boone were fired (amen). Brad made a few other good moves under dire circumstances where he was told by Linder/Allen to trade off high salary players, so all other GMs knew the mandate. Like Kent Mercker traded for Matt Belisle. Scott Williamson for Tyler Pelland (an up & coming LH reliever) and Dumatrait (who could never gain any semblance of command). Aaron Boone for Brandon Claussen & Charlie Williams (the Yankees subsequently reacquired Williams). I remember that I was really thrilled with Kullman's effort.

at 9:00 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Here is a link to an article on the unemployed Kyle Lohse. Did you know he is represented by Scott Boras too? Scott also represents Jeff Weaver and Cory Patterson who are also unemployed. Just keep them a long way from the Reds.

at 9:01 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Sorry. I forgot the link:

at 9:24 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Poor Pittsburgh! How's this for managing a ballclub. The noted baseball statistian, Bill James, determined that the eighth hitter in the Pirates lineup, which was primarily shortstop Jack Wilson, had a .452 slugging percentage and a .348 on-base percentage, both of which were the highest such percentages among all nine positions in the batting order.

at 10:30 PM Blogger Brandon said...

Hey thanks for clearing it up I was still kind of young back then and didn't follow baseball as much. I do remember going to the game Harang pitched against Clemens that was sold out when Clemens was like 7 and 0 and he out pitched him and I knew there was something to this guy.

Come on people get excited we have something to look forward to for once these prospects are good.

at 11:08 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

by the way.newer & fancy,no matter what tax bracket your in,doesn't necassarly mean better!

I bet my 94' & 85' 4 runner's with 5 speed, 4 wheel drive will out do any yuppie driving in a newer 4 runner,especially in rugged weather. More bells & whistles always means more money at the auto shop.

Some people live in rugged places with drive ways that you need a reliable tough truck/car,not some overpriced toy.

at 12:47 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Hey Air Force Mike and RedFuture, drop me a line at mrredlegs@hotmail.com.

Folks . . . some of your issues about the rotation and young pitchers are addressed in my rather surprising analysis of the Josh Fogg signing at www.myspace.com/goredlegs.

You're welcomed to read, comment and follow my other Reds preseason musings throughout spring training.

Mr. R

at 7:53 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

airforce mike

I have stated repeatedly that I look forward to this team maybe improving to.500. This would be a tremendous accomplishment in 1 year.

Yet, we have not played a single game and I am reading here that our pitching staff has all of a sudden become invincible and that this team will be unbeatable. I would suggest to you that those expectations are rather immature and unrealistic. If the truth about this team upsets you..deal with the source of your issues..the team..not me

Anyone evaluation WK at this time and suggesting that he has done a good job needs to take a chill pill. It did not take a genius to realize that we needed to replenish our minor league clubs and this process started with Dan Obrien.

Personally, I think WK should be given another year or two. Yet, Jocketty aint here to be window dressing no matter what you read

"I like reading different opinions, but when someone constantly knocks the Reds, it seems to become more of a reflexion on that person."
Mike D.

Mike.. John asked us not to attack others . Before you lecture me Mike, learn how to spell at least the 5th grade level.

at 7:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another losing season is a given with this team. Can't say small market teams can't compete, Minnesota, Cleveland, Milwaukee have shown with competent people and a plan, you can compete. Incompetent people with no plan for the future is what we have running the Reds.

at 8:08 AM Blogger Champ Summers said...



Excited to see our past helping our future. The Reds have done such a poor job with Latino players since Soto. Its nice to a guy with a great change teacing a guy with a good one.

at 8:12 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 8:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A losing season may be coming and losing is never fun but seeing the future (Bailey, Voltron, Cueto, Votto, Bruce) of your franchise make mistakes now (that they won't in '09 and beyond) mixed with glimpses of greatness can be entertaining. And, the losses that result are less painful because the future is bright... for a change. Worst case scenario: injuries. Best case scenario: wild card. Either way: amusing.

at 8:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 8:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cordero, Weathers, Burton, with Affedlt and Bray, do make a very good (not outstanding or great) bullpen. Probably in the top 1/3 or 1/4 when compared to other MLB teams.


Nothing about the Reds pitching is in the top 25% of MLB. Maybe top 25% of all AAA teams. MAYBE.

After Cordero you have a very iffy situation, and if Cordero goes down, you have last year's bullpen (if Affeldt remains in the rotation) which was and still is CLEARLY in the BOTTOM 25% in MLB.

But seeing all the young talent compete for stardom, or to stay on the roster, will be fun enough, so go Reds, hurry opening day! I can't wait for a few months of distraction from the Mike Brown trainwreck!

at 8:54 AM Blogger Champ Summers said...

We all complain about anon posting here. Identify yourselves so that we recognize the name on the post and we can ignore it.

It's gutsy to take anonymous pot shots.

At least Jack does it out in the open. I respect him/her for that.

at 8:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 9:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Champ Summers said...

We all complain about anon posting here. Identify yourselves so that we recognize the name on the post and we can ignore it.

It's gutsy to take anonymous pot shots.

At least Jack does it out in the open.


at 9:08 AM Anonymous Reds_fan2008 said...

If there are any CUBS fans here, and I know half of these ???0987*(*& who post "Anon" are. Just go back to your 100 years without a WS. REDS are gonna win the division plain & simple.

at 9:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

reds_fan2008 said...

If there are any CUBS fans here, and I know half of these ???0987*(*& who post "Anon" are. Just go back to your 100 years without a WS. REDS are gonna win the division plain & simple.


and the price of a gallon of gasoline is gonna drop to 1.50 a gallon also

at 9:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:37 Anon: I did not hear anything about mistake-free anywhere. Nor was I implying directly and explicitly that the Reds' will play mistake-free baseball after a year of mistake-laden baseball. Among a forum of baseball minds I posted a comment on the outlook I will have as a knowledgable Reds fan assuming no one would take my general thoughts LITERALLY. With that said, I stand by the point of my post which is: watching Bailey and Voltron give up bombs will hurt less than watching Milty and Stanton do the same.

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